As winter ends and things warm up, Bend locals get their inflatable rafts, tubes, kayaks, and stand-up paddle boards ready to hit the river. Because of its proximity to Bend, the stretch of the Deschutes River from Riverbend Park to Drake Park is extremely popular. You can also rent tubes, stand-up paddleboards, and arrange your return trip just across the river at Farewell Bend Park.
The float is perfectly relaxing and peaceful, with mountain views and plenty of wildlife to keep you entertained. As you lazily make your way down the river, you will float through the Old Mill District, pass The Les Schwab Amphitheatre, and approach the 'spillway,' which is your first exit or portage point. IMPORTANT: you must exit on the left before the spillway, and there will be plenty of signs indicating when to do so. If you are continuing on your float, you will simply walk under the bridge and resume your float from Mckay Park, floating through a residential section of town before ending your journey at Drake Park. Shuttles are a popular option, however Sun Country Tours has a bus that picks people up at Drake Park and returns them to Farewell Bend Park for a small fee (inquire about times and pricing at the Sun Country Tours trailer, located at Farewell Bend Park).